Wednesday, April 21, 2021

#atozchallenge R is for Ring Around the Rosie - guest post by C. Lee McKenzie

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter R

The game called Ring Around the Rosie has a mixed and long history. There are reports of one version appearing as early as the 1300s, other versions came into popular use in the 17 and 1800s. Today, young children still link hands, walk in a circle, and sing the lyrics.

Some believe the “ring around the Rosie” refers to the sores that appeared on plague victims’ skin—the “pocket full of posies” to either the practice of putting flowers inside doctors’ masks to protect them while they treated patients with plague, or gravesite tributes. The repeated “Ashes. Ashes.” was supposed to mimic the sound of sneezing while “We all fall down…” Well, if the game did refer to the Black Death, it’s obvious what that sentence meant.

Ring Around the Rosie

I’d rather just think of it as a fun game that happens to begin with today’s stellar letter R.

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Pooja Priyamvada said...

We have all played that game as children!
Here from

Operation Awesome said...

Maybe there will be a game and rhyme for the current pandemic. Is that a good or bad thought?

Today on the blog is another Book Review.

Susan Sanderson said...

Interesting to read a different version of the rhyme I know.

nashvillecats2 said...

A game I well remember...... Do they still play it today?


Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Hmm, I don't remember this one. Sounds like it's very topical.
Quilting Patchwork & Appliqué

Srivalli Rekha said...

I remember reading the actual story behind the game and wondering how on earth it became a rhyme to learn and memorize for kindergarten kids today.

kaykuala said...

R for Tinge of Regret


Crackerberries said...

Some of the nursery rhymes do kind of make you wonder what people were thinking when they wrote them. I mean really “The big bad wolf, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, a spider sat beside her, Bo-peep lost her sheep, Jack fell down and broke his crown,” I mean this list goes on and on. Kind of makes you wonder doesn’t it? I did some of that today in my letter to self:
Reflections of What Made You Who You Are
Have a great day!

Anne M Bray said...

I think Crackerberries summed it all up!

R is for Road Trip:

The R Shoe:

Gonz said...

Looking for the Bones of Ramos is no game... but in case you still want to try...

Cathy Kennedy said...

It seems I recall some reference to Ring Around the Posies and the Black Death. I wouldn't be surprised if there's some truth to it but like you I prefer to think of it as a game. I haven't thought of this game in years. :)

Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog Looney Tunes A-Z Art Sketch

Jayashree (pagesfromjayashree) said...

Chapters From My Life said...

I very much wish that I hadn't known this dark version of this rhyme. It makes sense though.
In my preschool, children enjoyed this very much and they all loved falling down.
My blog post somehow is related since talks about recuperating from breast cancer before taxing yourself with work.

Molly's Canopy said...

Wow, that explanation makes sense -- especially in this pandemic year. It may have been a way to allow children to distance themselves from the plague and help calm their fears. Here's my letter R post

Frewin55 said...

Lots of pictures today in a post about how to get into space...

Trudy said...

I've known the dark side of that nursery rhyme, but it was still fun to play it with the kids. We especially enjoyed playing Ring Around the Rosie while in the shallow end of a swimming pool, and then falling down into the water.

My topic today: Movies reflect human needs: Resilience

Trudy @ Reel Focus

Jemima Pett said...

I love how many things change internationally... in the UK it is Ring O' Roses, and it starts "Ring o' ring o' roses". I can see how that easily morphed into Ring Around the Roses, which doesn't really make sense to me.

Ring o' ring o' roses
A pocket full of posies
A-tish-oo, A-tish-oo
we all fall down.

So we all sneezed and then fell down... in the playground :)

2 gators said...

loved that game as a child :) I AM CAUGHT UP!!!! YAYY
today's post is on the Reindeer very interesting about these guys

Pr@Gun said...

Ring o' roses, and we are still living with pandemic.
It scares me a bit, but thanks for reminding the famous childhood rhyme.

My post for Alphabte R for #AtoZchallenge -

Lady In Read said...

My post revolves around rhymes too!!
Rhyme Scheme: A Little Bit of Everything About It

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

My theme for the A to Z Challenge last year was nursery rhymes, and I learned that there’s actually no historical evidence for the story that this rhyme is based on the Black Death. In fact the oldest known versions of the rhyme don’t even include the references that are often cited as relating to the plague. It's nice to know that there's something that's unrelated to pandemic these days!
Black and White: R for Ruritania

cleemckenzie said...

I hope someone doesn't create a nursery rhyme for 2020-21. I'd rather this plague be sedately set aside.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

In South Africa, our version is close to what Jemima described :-)

Ronel visiting for the A-Z Challenge with an A-Z of Faerie: Rabbits and Hares of Folklore